We chose this inn based on other great reviews and we were not disappointed! I am surprised that there were a few negative reviews though. Maybe I can address some of the issues they raised and hopefully clarify a few things. Let me begin by saying this is not the Ritz Carlton. I gave The Inn at Middleton Inn 5 stars because - for its category - it suprassed our expectations. This is a unique and charming property in an unparalleled location - directly on the Ashley River and adjacent to historic Middleton Plantation with its stunning gardens and family home ($36 entry fee p/p included with your room rate! A significant value right there).
As for the room rate, we found it to be significantly cheaper than downtown Charleston! In fact, at about $135 a night before tax, we felt like we were getting a bargain. Having access to the grounds at the plantation is a HUGE plus. I have not experienced the other gardens in the area (Magnolia Plantation is a stone's throw away), but I have been to some incredible castle gardens in Europe... as well as Monticello and Mount Vernon in the U.S., and the Middleton Place gardens hold their own.
Free and easy access to all of this beauty is a unique feature which I haven't experienced at any other inn so I give it high marks for that.
The setting is so tranquil, I can say I actually enjoyed being on the hotel property more than I did my first excursion into downtown Charleston, although that was also fantastic. I was just extremely grateful to "come home" to Middleton Place.
Other great values:
*A very generous "Happy Hour" from 5-7 pm with complimentary beer, wine and snacks including an assortment of cheeses, crackers, fruit, chips and queso.
*Complimentary "Healthy Start" breakfast. I agree with some reviewers who said this isn't the best free breakfast they've ever had, but it's decent and you can get a cooked-to order hot breakfast for about $10. The setting for the breakfast room is lovely, huge glass windows overlooking trees.
*Free and ample parking.
Our room was extremely clean - no dust, bugs or leaves. A few people did complain about the smoky smell from the fireplace. We definitely did exprerience that, too - as soon as I stepped into the room, in fact. I am very sensitive to smells, especially smoke, so I understand how that could be an issue for some people. But I guess I was charmed by the overall experience, so I was able to overlook that.
The design of the buildings is also very unique. If Frank Lloyd Wright designed a dormitory, it might look and feel something like this. The rooms are bright with floor-to-ceiling windows and are sparsely - but nicely - furnished. Sort of made me feel like I was in a Danish Chalet or something. The emphasis is definitely on the outdoors.
A point of contention with some reviewers seems to be the bathrooms. My husband and I actually thought they were cool, although they are not typical and far from luxurious. Ours was very clean. The bathtub is basically a tiled, rectangular concrete block - which was cool to shower in but I was never tempted to soak in it. It was also very clean.
Other pluses were: warm and friendly service from the entire staff, a fine dining on-site restaurant (resevrations needed), and a snack bar in the main lodge where we could get inexpensive sandwiches.
NOTE: We stayed on the first floor, but there are a lot of steep stairs to get to the second floor units - something to think about if you have a problem walking.
In a nutshell, if you want a charming getaway in the country that's also just 20 minutes from downtown - this is it!!!!
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- Also Known As:
- Inn At Middleton Place Hotel Charleston